I pray in a general way for all those who preach the gospel or serve the gospel in diverse ways on Sundays in Scotland, as well as remembering by Name those God lays upon my heart. This morning as I set out to do that, I got a very distinct image unrelated to anything going on in my mind. For me that is usually a sign that there is something being shown to me by the Holy Spirit that He wants me to pray about, or share or both.
Let me describe the image. I believe it is for someone, perhaps more than one who is sincerely setting out this day to serve the Lord and to bless His people, found or still lost. I saw a storage box being opened up, just a plain cardboard storage box. Inside was the claw of a crab. Somehow just by looking at that crabs claw it became attached to the sleeve of the person opening the box. Although there was no life in it – it was simply a dead claw – it seemed to exert a pretty formidable grip on the sleeve of the person who was opening the box. It was heavy in a way that was out of proportion to its size and dragged the person’s arm downwards with great pressure and inflicted considerable pain. Its grip seemed fixed and unbreakable.
That image makes me want to say this to some servant of God and His gospel: STOP OPENING THE BOX ON PAST SIN! I think the person this is for in a powerful way has committed a sin of financial dishonesty, perhaps even theft, even theft from church funds in some way, but this may also be word for many more beyond that individual. Listen: whatever you may be thinking of in relation to you yourself as I share the image with you, the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son cleanses us completely from every sin that we confess. Be sure of that. The Word says it, so believe it! Stop tormenting yourself and stop caving in to the devil’s demands that you remember a particular fall again and again, his demand that you open the box. His aim is to rob you of confidence that God can use you, and use you powerfully this day, “Dear one.” That is what I heard the Living God call you: “Dear one.” It is time to shut the box of continual remembering and place it at the foot of the cross, and walk away. Accept that you are cleansed by the blood and walk into this day as one counted and called “dear” by your heavenly Father, by God the Son and by the God the Holy Spirit who lives within you.
So: mount the pulpit steps, dear one of God; lead worship, dear one of God; step into that excited group of children, dear one of God; distribute the bread and the wine, dear one of God; be part of the welcoming team at the door, dear one of God. Your hands are clean, your garments are white, you are counted as holy and blameless before the throne of God. In a phrase that is mocked sometimes even by some of God’s children nowadays you are washed in the blood, your garments are spotless, they are white as snow, you are washed in the blood of the Lamb. You have been to Jesus for the cleansing power, you have laid aside your garments that were stained with sin, you know you have, Dear One, sensitive one, storm tossed one. Serve the Lord with joy and confidence this day. He wants to give you this desire of your heart: you will glorify His Name today, this vey day… oh yes, by the way, I presume you know that the Lord would also say to you, “Go and sin no more.”